How is formatting not doing things right? Please explain that one to me. If it takes the same amount of time to do a reinstall as it does to clean the existing install, how is it "the wrong thing to do"? If a client does serious banking and taxes, a format would be much much safer and "the right thing". You can spend 10 days making sure the system is clean, but if for SOME reason you missed something and the client comes back because their credit card information was stolen (or something horrible happened), who will they yell at? Format...is a guarantee as long as their data is secure when you restore it.
Ok I'll break it down in bullet points...but don't get mad at me for doing so...most people go off on me for being a jerk when I do this
1. Yes, and most of my clients were home or home office folks. I know what my job was and what work I did...
2. Formatting is one way of doing it...but it's destructive in its very nature. The best route is to not destroy data when it can be prevented.
3. It doesn't take the same amount of time. To do a full back up of their system, zeroing the drive (things can survive a standard format), reinstalling the OS, reinstalling all their programs, restoring their outlook files (yes sometimes home users have this), putting all their savegames back, making sure customizations are back in place, etc. all usually takes longer than just doing the proper offline scan & clean.
4. If you're doing your job correctly you're not going to miss something. That's my point. If you're so worried that you're going to miss something, then you're not as confident in your abilities as you should be.
So to break it down into a TL;DR...if you're doing it right it doesn't take hours and hours, and is usually faster than having to put their system back exactly as it was.
I knew I shoud have left the thread earlier like I said...all I'm doing is repeating myself...which I think some folks are getting a kick out of...
If you need any help let me know. I'm usually around and can try to answer quickly.